Mediacom, Centurylink holding up Canal Road widening.

By John Mullen

September 4, 2019 – Orange Beach, AL – (OBA®) – Mediacom will be with you within eight to 10 days. Centurylink, too.

Well, maybe not. OK, a year. Not so fast. Not even close.

Those two cable/internet companies, known for generating complaints about their lack of service or bad service, are now holding up one of the most important road projects in the history of Orange Beach.

Each has had a year – or more – to move their lines out of the way so the widening of Canal Road in a much-needed second eastbound lane can begin.

“We have been held up on the fifth lane because Mediacom has not moved their cable and has had a year to do it,” Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said. “If anybody wishes to call Mediacom and harass them please feel free to use my name.”

Community Development Director Kit Alexander pointed out that Centurylink was holding up the project as well and the two are the only hold up to beginning the vital roadway improvement. Alexander said the utilities in question are in the state’s right of way and not on city property.

“Just cut ‘em,” someone in the audience at the Sept. 3 Orange Beach City Council meeting said. “No one will notice. It will be like normal.”

Mediacom and Centurylink were both asked for comment for this story and said they had available response times between 8 a.m. and noon or from noon to 4 p.m. We’re still waiting.

City and Alabama Department of Transportation officials met with Mediacom and Centurylink on Sept. 4 and said they hoped to have a resolution to the problem by early next week.

During the regular session, the council:

  • Saw the introduction and swearing-in of Officer Hunter Lanford, new part-time Officers Seth McVickers and Greg Sanders, and Support Service Technician Tyler Flowers.
  • Approved a special retail liquor license application for the Perdido Beach Resort, 27200 Perdido Beach Boulevard. The hotel wants to be able to offer beer and wine in the gift shop for guests to take to the beach or back to their rooms.
  • Approved an amendment to an ordinance to allow for the Public Works Department to be relocated north of the Intracoastal Waterway to a 19-acre parcel near the Baldwin Electrical Membership Coop shop on the Foley Beach Express. The council suspended the rules to immediately consider the change and it passed 6-0.
  • Heard first readings and held public hearings on PUD ordinances for two new developments in the city. The first is Broken Sound near the intersection of Canal Road and Lauder Lane which would add 40 single-family homes. The second is Hammock Dunes Phase 2 on the Gulf directly west of Phoenix West II and it seeks to add 12 cottage homes.

During the work session, the council also discussed:

  • A resolution appropriating funds to the Makos Academics, Arts & Athletics Club in the amount of $48,999.61.
  • A resolution appropriating funds for the Expect Excellence program for the remainder of 2019 in an amount not to exceed $200,000.
  • A resolution authorizing the execution of a software license agreement with Active Network, LLC, for point-of-sale, activity registration, and facility reservation software.
  • A resolution authorizing the execution of a cooperative service agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement a coyote management plan.
  • A resolution appointing Frederick Gatch to the Library Board.
  • Setting public hearings for Sept. 17 on planned unit development for Cotton Bayou Cottages, The Bluffs of Orange Beach and Robison Grove. Cotton Bayou Cottages looks to develop 34 cottages on 4.38 acres on the north side of beach road across from the Admiral’s Quarters. The Bluffs looks to develop 10 cottages on the Gulf near the intersection of Alabama 161 and beach road just west of Summerchase. Robinson Grove seeks to develop 14 cottages near Walker Key just off Canal Road.